Cefalù Cathedral
the chystro

Squaring the circle

Entering the cloister of Cefalù Cathedral not only means plunging into a path steeped in medieval art that seems to reawaken the different decorative motifs animating the capitals of the columns as we pass, but also being pervaded by an architecture of light.
In accordance with Christian symbolism, it is oriented so that each of its spaces is illuminated in a different way, following the orientation of the sun.
Following its itinerary, made up of the transcendence of the circle inserted in the immanence of the square, we are invited to embark on a spiritual journey of purification that begins where the light sets, symbolically linked to Adam and the Old Testament, and then reaches the New Testament dimension, pervaded by the radiance of the incarnation and the promise. Even the plants arranged in the garden have always represented an ascetic message, capable of enveloping those who walk through it in a sense of theophany that unfolds along the way.

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The Cathedral over the centuries

A new Cathedral

The stone bible

The rediscovered chapel

The columns of the nave: the meticulous study of the overall order

The mosaics of the presbytery

The longest aisle

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The chapel of the crucifix: an artistic casket based on a previous model

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

The lost chapel

A remarkable ceiling

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

A compositional design that combines nordic examples with new artistic languages, over the centuries

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The balance between architecture and light

The Virgin Hodegetria

The original design

Transformations over the centuries

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Ecclesia munita

A Northern population

The Cefalù cathedral: a construction yard undergoing a change between a surge of faith and control over the territory

The chapel of St. Benedict

The side Portico: a combination of elegance and lightness of form

The side aisles

Tempus fugit: a strategic project implemented in a short period of time

The plasticism of the main portico and Bonanno Pisano’s Monumental Bronze Door

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

A space between the visible and the invisible

The links between the hauteville family and the monastic orders in Sicily

The beginning of the construction site

Roger II’s strategic design

A tree full of life

The marble portal: an intimate dialogue between complex ornamental aspects and formal structure

Worship services

The mosaics of the apses

Under the crosses of the Bema

Thirteenth-century iconography decorates the nave’s wooden ceiling, designed with new solutions

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The Chapel of the Kings

Squaring the circle

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The decorated facade

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The senses tell Context 1

Interior decorations

The cemetery of kings

From the main gate to the aisles: an invitation to a journey of faith

A palimpsest of history

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The southern portico

The Bible carved in stone

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Palermo: the happiest city

The architectural modifications ti the cathedral building after the death of Roger II and the transformations of the cloister

Survey of the royal tombs

Beyond the harmony of proportions

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The area of the Sanctuary

The king’s mark

The Great Restoration

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The cultural substrate through time

Mosaic decoration

The towers and the western facade

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The paradisiacal “Conca d’oro” that embraces Palermo: a name with countless faces through time

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A controversial interpretation

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history